The Republican Insider who communicates with blogger D.W. Ulsterman has some interesting tidbits to report regarding the House and Syria.
Right now it appears the White House is not close, they’re about a hundred votes short. There is a core group of both Republicans and Democrats who are saying no way on this one. The NYT photo of the Syrian rebels executing a group of unarmed men is making the rounds up here, causing more members of Congress who might have been thinking about voting yes on military action to pause.
Probably the most telling fact that the White House is in real trouble on this vote is the lack of any real work by their people to communicate to Congress, and now I hear that Pelosi’s office is backing off. If she is not willing to crack skulls on this one, I don’t see how they get the votes. One member apparently said something along the lines of “If Obama can’t find the time to even talk to us on this, then why should I find the time to vote for him?” The Republican leadership, as has been reported already, is basically stepping back and letting members decide for themselves. Wish they had done that earlier on other issues. I trust most of the members’ instincts way more than the leadership.
As for the Speaker Boehner retirement story leaked out yesterday, I have not heard any confirmation on that yet. A possible tell though is that I’m now aware the Boehner office has denied it to anyone either. I was told the leak came directly from their office, so maybe their laying down the hint so the party can prepare? I hope it marks the start of a little internal revolution inside the party. Much needed.
The Syria vote situation remains fluid, but political gravity seems to have it running opposite approving a military option at this time. That could change of course, but for now, I’d say common sense is holding out.